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Old June 25th 17, 07:36 PM posted to sci.geo.meteorology
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Default May 2017 Global Weather Highlights


MAY 2016

Four people are missing after some of the worst flooding in decades in parts of Canada. In the eastern province of Quebec, police are searching for a man and a toddler who were swept away after their car swerved into a rive on the 8th). In British Columbia (BC), on the other side of the country, rescue crews are searching for two men, including a fire chief who went missing late on Friday. Flooding has also affected the provinces of Ontario and New Brunswick. With heavy rains persisting and waters still rising over much of waterlogged eastern Canada, the nation's military tripled the number of troops urgently working to evacuate thousands of residents Quebec's deluge has been caused by a combination of melting snow and much heavier than average spring rainfall in April and May. Federal civil servants were told to stay home on Monday to help keep roads clear for emergency vehicles. Federal government offices located in Gatineau, on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River, were closed on Monday. Flood levels in the Ottawa River are stabilizing in the region though it will take several days for the water to recede to normal levels, despite light snowfall on Monday morning. David Phillips, senior climatologist with Environment Canada, said the spring rainfall in the flooded regions is historic. "We've had anywhere in eastern Canada of two to three times the (normal) amount of rain, and breaking records by a long shot," he said. Since 1 April, Montreal alone received 232 mm of rain. Mr Phillips said the average for the city is 86 mm. The previous record was 162 mm.


A severe thunderstorm hit Denver with large hail, causing damage and travel delays across the city. Roads looked as if they were covered in snow due to the amount of hail that fell on the 8th. Hail as large as tennis balls was reported around Denver, smashing car windows, stripping trees of leaves and damaging some houses. Travelers taking to the air were also impacted by the hailstorm with over 150 flight delays reported at Denver International Airport, according to FlightStats.

Late-season snow fell across parts of Colorado and Wyoming this week, burying some communities with several feet of snow on the 18th. Several road closures are in effect in southeast Wyoming. On Thursday night, Interstate 80 and U.S. Route 30 from Laramie to Cheyenne, Wyoming, were closed in both directions due to the heavy snow. One of the highest snowfall totals reported was in Ward, Colorado, were 38.2 inches was measured early Friday morning.

Severe thunderstorms caused significant damage from the central Plains through the mid-Mississippi and Tennessee River valleys during the start of Memorial Day weekend (27th). The majority of damage occurred from very large hail which smashed windows and dented vehicles. In some locations, the size of the hail was as large as softballs. Two people were reported dead and another missing after their car was found in Branson, Missouri, on Sunday following severe flooding. Officials believe the car drove into rushing water the day before. High wind gusts up to 70 mph further damaged communities by snapping large trees and triggering widespread power outages. More than 760 wind and hail reports poured in during Saturday and Saturday night, with the worst of the thunderstorms occurring over Oklahoma, Missouri and Tennessee, according to the National Weather Service. A total of eight tornadoes touched down in Missouri and Oklahoma. Only one tornado was confirmed on Saturday, but storm survey teams assessing damage on Sunday confirmed another seven tornadoes touched down. Fortunately, most of the tornadoes were only briefly on the ground and no injuries have been reported. Over 75,000 were still without power across Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Tennessee early on Sunday morning.

At least 14 people were injured in Sampson County, North Carolina, on Monday night after severe storms caused widespread damage (29th). At least 10-15 homes were damaged or destroyed, and several barns were also significantly damaged, according to emergency management officials. 'Considerable damage' was reported north of the town of Salemburg through the Kitty Fork and Keener area of the county, according to Samson County officials. Salemburg is located about 30 minutes east of Fayetteville, North Carolina. Officials said there were numerous reports of trees down and power outages. They also cautioned that transportation could be limited in the area. A National Weather Service storm survey found winds to be in excess of 70 mph, throughout the damage path, which extended five miles wide. There were also some localized wind gusts around 80-90 mph.


Landslides and floods in Sri Lanka have killed at least 151 people and the country faces the risk of more mudslides as torrential rains continue (28th). More than 100 people are still missing after the worst rains in the Indian Ocean island since 2003. The state-run National Building Research Organization warned people in seven out of the country's 25 districts on Sunday to evacuate from unstable slopes if rains continued for the next 24 hours. People in the town of Agalawatte said they were losing hope of water levels falling soon. 'All access to our village is cut off. A landslide took place inside the village and several houses are buried. But nobody could go to that place,' resident Mohomed Abdulla told Reuters. Agalawatte, a town in western coastal district of Kalutara, 74km from the capital, Colombo, has recorded 47 deaths and 62 people are missing. Rescue efforts are hampered by lack of drinking water, lack of electricity and continued rain. Reuters witnessed some people stranded on the upper floors of their homes and some houses were flooded up to roof level. Civilians and relief officials, sailing in boats, distributed food, water and other essentials. Sri Lanka has already appealed for international assistance from the United Nations and neighbouring countries. Some areas in the southern coastal district of Galle, popular with foreign tourists, have not received relief materials because of a lack of access.

The Bangladeshi navy says it is searching for dozens of fishermen still missing after a powerful storm (30th). Cyclone Mora, which brought high winds and torrential rain, killed seven people and destroyed thousands of homes when it hit on Tuesday. The areas around Cox's Bazar and Chittagong, along the border with Myanmar, bore the brunt of the storm. Camps on the border housing thousands of Muslim Rohingya refugees from Myanmar were badly damaged.. Fishing vessels were ordered back to port as the storm approached, but a local fishing industry representative said about 150 people were missing.


Sixteen people were killed when a severe thunderstorm hit Moscow and the region around the Russian capital on Monday (29th). Hundreds of trees were toppled, and about 150 people needed medical help. It was the deadliest storm in the city for more than 100 years, Russia's Interfax news agency reported. The winds of up to 110 km/h were described by meteorologists as extremely rare for the city, and caused structural damage to buildings. Electrical cables were reportedly damaged as Moscow was lashed with high winds, hail and torrential rain. The city's investigative committee said that "hurricane winds" had blown down trees across the city, killing five pedestrians. The roof of the Kremlin Senate was damaged by the storm. On Tuesday, the authorities raised the death toll to 16, saying that 11 people were killed in the capital and five in the Moscow region.


The official start of the eastern Pacific hurricane season is 15 May, but the first tropical system of the year has already formed. An area of showers and thunderstorms rapidly organized on Tuesday, becoming the earliest tropical depression and tropical storm on record in the eastern Pacific Ocean since reliable data began in 1966. The previous record for the earliest tropical depression was on May 12, 1990. This depression strengthened to Tropical Storm Alma on May 14. Strong winds high in the atmosphere have caused Adrian to since weaken back down to a tropical depression. A hostile environment may cause the storm to weaken further into the weekend.

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